Shaq, Yao, Iverson highlight 2016 NBA Hall of Fame inductees

Big men Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming and guard Allen Iverson highlight 10 members of NBA’s 2016 Hall of Fame class

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal, second from right looks on after his jersey was retired during the half of the Lakers' NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Los Angeles.

Updated Apr 5, 2016

Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming are among 10 members of the class of 2016 who will be enshrined in basketball's Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in September, it was announced on Monday.

The trio of NBA stars will be honoured at a ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts on September 9.

Other inductees include 27-year NBA referee Darell Garretson, two-time NABC Coach of the Year Tom Izzo, trailblazing African-American coach John McLendon and four-time WNBA Champion Sheryl Swoopes.

"The impact the Class of 2016 has had on the game of basketball is gigantic," John Doleva, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame president, said in a statement.

"To have several icons of the game be recognized in the same year makes this class one of the most memorable to date. We look forward to honouring each of these inductees during Enshrinement in September."

Yao Ming celebrates with Chinese participants after China was awarded the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup defeating the Philippines during a 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup host announcement ceremony in Tokyo, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (AP)

USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo said the new crop of inductees were "big in stature, personality and impact."

"These ten inductees have each contributed to the game in their own meaningful way and we are very pleased to honour them in Springfield," Colangelo said.

O'Neal, who won four NBA Championships during spells with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat in a 19-year career, welcomed his induction on Monday.

"I tried to mix being dominant and entertaining every game," O'Neal was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying.

Former Philadelphia 76ers player Allen Iverson, pictured on May 22, 2012, was an 11-time NBA All-Star during 14 seasons in the league, where he averaged 26.7 points and 6.2 assists per game. (AFP)

Iverson was an 11-time NBA All-Star during 14 seasons in the league, where he averaged 26.7 points and 6.2 assists per game.

Former Houston Rockets star Yao was the number one pick in the NBA draft in 2002 after leading the Shanghai Sharks to the Chinese title the same year.

He was an eight-time NBA All-Star (2003-2009, 2011) and broke the record for most All-Star votes, previously held by Michael Jordan in 2005.